The University Libraries and Center for Creative Writing in the Arts at UNCG welcome Matthew Pearl to Greensboro to participate in A Dickens of a Celebration commemorating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. Pearl’s first three novels, The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, and The Last Dickens were New York Times bestsellers, have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have over one million copies in print combined. Critics have likened Pearl to E. L. Doctorow, and described him as “at the very forefront of contemporary novelists.” Reviews have proclaimed his writing as a "franchise on the cusp of mystery, literature and historical fiction" (Janet Maslin, “CBS Sunday Morning”), and said that Matthew is “a young author worth following,” adding “one can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.” The author will speak and sign copies of his books at 7 p.m. in the Virginia Dare Room in the Alumni House on the UNCG campus. The event is free and open to the public.
In The Last Dickens: A Novel (Random House, 2009), Matthew Pearl delivered another historical thriller, this time with a plot to unravel one of literature’s greatest mysteries: the ending to Charles Dickens’s unfinished final work, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Boston, 1870: When news of Dickens’ untimely death reaches Boston, his publisher, James R. Osgood, dispatches his eager young clerk, Daniel Sand, to intercept the latest installment of Drood. When Daniel’s body is discovered and the manuscript missing, Osgood must embark on a quest to solve Dickens's final mystery that will save his venerable business and reveal Daniel’s killer. Osgood chooses Rebecca Sand, Daniel's sister, to help him. As they attempt to uncover Dickens's final mystery, Osgood and Rebecca find themselves entangled in a sinister plot that takes them from the fancy auction houses of London to the dark hearts of opium dens. They soon realize that understanding Dickens's ending is also the key to stopping a murderous mastermind. The book explores the world of book publishing and book piracy that characterized the literary world of the time.
In reviewing the book Kirkus called it “a rousing yarn of opium, book pirating, murder most foul, man-on-man biting and other shenanigans—and that's just for starters…. It’s clear that Pearl is having a fine time of it all, firing off a few inside jokes at the publishing business along the way.”
About the Author: Matthew Pearl graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude in English and American Literature in 1997 and Yale Law School in 2000. He has taught literature and creative writing at Harvard University and Emerson College, and has been a Visiting Lecturer in law and literature at Harvard Law School. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His newest novel, The Technologists, is being released in February 2012. For more information, see www.matthewpearl.com.